Copyright © 2011 Fred Waage




Uncovering the Deep Message

of an Undervalued Text


Fred Waage


Forward by Barbara Stedman

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     For those who've lost sight of Raintree County, this study serves as a valuable reminder that the novel, as a uniquely crafted work of literature, is still able to bowl readers over with the power and grace of Lockridge's prose. More important, Waage provides abundant and convincing evidence to support his assertion that it is, in fact, the "foremost 'environmental novel'" of the last century. Embodying complex attitudes and motivations regarding the natural environment--during Lockridge's time and our own--Raintree County, and Waage's Streamdivided Earth together leave us to contemplate humankind's relationship with the earth and our potential to harm it or heal it.
     --Barbara Stedman, Ph.D, Ball State University, Forward to Raintree County, the Foremost American Environmental Novel: Uncovering the Deep Message of an Undervalued Text / by Fred Waage, Edwin Mellen Press (2011). Hardcover edition. Acquire from EMP.

     Fred Waage was the founding editor of the significant Appalachian magazine Now and Then. He has published books on Renaissance dramatists Thomas Dekker and John Webster, and papers on the same literary period, but his greatest interest as a teacher is environmental literature and writing. He has published poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction on nature in chapbooks and periodicals. He edited a groundbreaking text, Teaching Environmental Literature (1985), one of the inspirations for the environmental literature movement begun in the 1980's, and embodied in the Association for the Study of Literature and Environment. He coedited (2008) the radically expanded edition of TEL, Teaching North American Environmental Literature. He has written a literary biography of American environmental writer George R. Stewart, and is completing an ecocritical study of much neglected novelist Ross Lockridge's Raintree County.
     --From Waage's previous book, Sinking Creek Journal--An Environmental Book of Days (2010)


See also: SEED OF THE RAINTREE: RAINTREE COUNTY AND POSTWAR ENVIRONMENTAL FICTION, 1945-1960, by Fred Waage, as presented at the Conference of the Association for the Study of Literature and Environment (ASLE), June 2007.

Raintree County

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